September 17, 2009

I’m not a creative director but…

Posted in Who was the advertising genius... at 10:02 am by R

Gabrielle Reese

Gabrielle Reese for Purevia

I’ve seen this ad a couple times in magazines I subscribe to and it drives me NUTS! I’m no creative director, but I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only one who finds it unappealing that this Purevia plant appears to be growing out of Gabby’s armpit. Ummm…gross!

And it’s the image for their home page…only animated! To me it looks like a very long, green armpit hair. Natural I can understand, but is this some subconscious hippie thing?

Just an observation. Am I alone on this one?



September 8, 2008

Word Up.

Posted in In the news, Who was the advertising genius... tagged at 11:19 am by R

The Phoenix Business Journal had a small article this week about Cramer Krasselt releasing an annual “cultural dictionary” to keep their employees and clients up-to-date on the new slang. The terms were garnered from the Web, blogs and conversations. And let’s not forget text messages.

Some of the highlights:

  • “Faceslam” — to ignore or deny a friendship request on Facebook or social network.
  • “Smexting” — smoking and texting
  • “infosnacking” — wasting time at work by surfing the Web

Take that Merriam-Webster!


July 18, 2008

Insurance and Syrup — A co-branding match made at breakfast

Posted in Who was the advertising genius... tagged at 9:26 am by R

You see this happening all the time, two well known brands with established characteristics and loyal followings join together and go skipping hand-in-hand through the marketplace.

This can be a very successful tactic for a campaign, or a total flop if the brands aren’t appropriately aligned.

Ones that work:

  • Starbucks and iTunes
  • 24 Hour Fitness and the Olympics
  • Project Runway and Elle Magazine

One I discovered this morning that is highly questionable:

  • Geico and Mrs. Butterworth….huh?

Yeah, you read me right. Geico — an insurance company — and Mrs. Butterworth — maple syrup. You know the campaign they have going where the “average insurance customer” just can’t explain their story quite as well as a “celebrity.” Well, evidently, Mrs. Butterworth is a celebrity! Watch it here.

I need someone to tell me how these two brands benefit each other enough to co-brand together in this ad. I’m really struggling to wrap my brain around this one…

  • Do a disproportionate amount of Geico customers report eating an inordinate amount of hot cakes with extra sides of syrup?
  • Are people who buy Mrs. Butterworth simultaneously seeking quality car insurance?

I’m at a loss here. But what’s crazier is that it works! I laughed out loud at the gym when I heard Mrs. Butterworth quip in her maple syrupy sweet voice, “Oh look, someone’s put a logo right over my face.”

Seriously for a person in the advertising/marketing/public relations field, that’s hilarious.

Will this be a partnership that spans beyond this one ad? I doubt it. But it just goes to show that the rules of properly aligned brands can go out the window when you have a quirky brand (Geico) working with something completely unexpected and totally juxtaposed.

It says plenty about the power Geico’s brand has. Mrs. Butterworth, enjoy your time as part of this campaign. I’ll see you at breakfast.


June 29, 2008

Finding the Right Words

Posted in A walk on the "dark side", Who was the advertising genius... tagged , at 3:56 pm by R

In public relations, we function as writers a good deal of the time. As such, it should be expected that we will each encounter that dreaded phenomenon — writer’s block.

Struggling to find just the right word to describe a client’s product, mission or service is laborious but critical. I have, for example, a client who has recently released a new beverage which is quite good. The first ingredient on the list is tea, but the company wants to be known for more than that. They want this to be referred to as something that hearkens the nature of it’s name.

It’s called Revolution 3D. It’s super fruit juices (blueberry, pomegranate, mango, green apple) vitamins (B & C) and white tea. I’m not saying this because anyone has asked me to…this stuff is really good. So good in fact that I have to tell my self “no you can’t have ANOTHER can today.” It’s all too easy to zip to the break room and crack another open (those pomegranates go fast!)

The conundrum is this: Although 1/3 tea, it’s not an iced tea; though 1/3 fruit it’s not a juice; though 1/3 vitamins it’s not a vitamin enhanced water. So what exactly is it?

  • Multi-dimensional beverage — yes
  • Active lifestyle beverage — yes
  • Something more than this in description for potential buyers and media — yes

To find the exact words that convey what this new-to-market product is requires real genius that I’m not delivering on today.

Let’s try a few on for size here. (Bear with me please):

  • Revolution 3D: The drink with a certain je n’ais se quois.
  • Revolution 3D: Un-tea-licious
  • Revolution 3D: A whole new dimension of refreshment
  • Revolution 3D: Makes other drinks quiver in their 2D boots?

Like I said, I’m just not dead on today. Someone go grab a few cans and help a sister out! It’s available only in Arizona right now (because the company empathizes with the triple digit temperatures and decided we needed something refreshing and very cold immediately). So if you are in Arizona, run to an AJ’s, grab one and give me a suitable definition to share with future sippers and media.


June 19, 2008

The Power of Nice

Posted in Uncategorized, Who was the advertising genius... tagged at 8:10 pm by R

Linda Kaplan Thaler, advertising maverick and author of the book “The Power of Nice” is a genius.

Not only has the woman built a billion dollar ad agency from the ground up and continues to win Cleo after Cleo, but she’s hit upon, what I believe, is the real key to success in today’s business climate, especially as a young female professional.

Anything negative that you do can go anywhere, thanks to cyberspace and active online social networks. Why risk it, especially when kindness is so clutch!

I’ve dealt with people who use nasty as a tactic to get their point across. I’ll shoot them down everytime with a smile and sweet words. Guess what, they ALWAYS back down. They come down to my level, a kind one. Once you are on an even emotional playing field, that’s when great things happen. That’s when things get done.

I saw Linda on Donny Deutch’s Big Idea this evening. They were discussing power and I happen to agree that nice is the best way to be get what you want and be the most effective. That being said, I think they missed just why nice works so dang well. When someone gets angry, they give their power to their emotions. To get things done you have to keep your power.

Success and power, require that you stay in control. Deflecting a client’s snippiness and addressing them with kindness shows them that you have the power in the situation…and you are a gracious enough person to share it.

In as much as my job is to manage public images in the media and among key stakeholders, it’s also to be a powerful female communicator who shows clients how to be nice, powerful people. Emphasis on nice.